Lay Witness Magazine

Ask CUF: Am I Obliged to Give My Tithes to My Parish?

Does the Church have any guidelines regarding the recipients of tithes? For example, can I give to Catholic organizations other than my parish if I think they are more effectively spreading the Gospel? Am I obliged to give any of my tithes to my parish? The tithe (Old English for “tenth”; simply decima in Latin) is originally a tax of goods taken for purposes related to worship. It is distinct from almsgiving, which is charitable—and at times penitential— material assistance given to the poor and expected by Christ (Mt. 6:2–4; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462). Abraham gave a … Continue reading

Book Reviews – July/August 2010

Various From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Be to Me a Father and a Priest by Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas (Newman House Press, 2009) Be to Me a Father and a Priest, an anthology of Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas’s writings, gives valuable insights on the identity and mission of priests. His is a unique perspective, drawn from his experience with truly good and truly bad priests, “heresy in the classroom, liturgical abuses on a grand scale, degradation of traditional notions of the priesthood, sexual immorality, and active persecution of seminarians who adhered to orthodox views … Continue reading

Conversion, Penance, and Prayer – Responding to the Sexual Abuse Scandals in the Church

Msgr. Charles M. Mangan From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Several fresh accusations have been voiced recently against the Church, including the Holy Father, involving the manner in which he and the Church handled specific cases of the sexual abuse of minors committed by priests. Various commentators have rushed to the defense of Pope Benedict XVI, ably demonstrating that he himself should be exonerated because it has not been proven that he “covered up” the grave misdeeds of certain of the Church’s ordained ministers. If it were shown that the Holy Father is at fault, he would, … Continue reading

CUF Link – July/August 2010

CUF From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “A Pastoral Imperative: Encourage All in Sound Doctrine and Refute Those Who Oppose It” is the theme of the 2010 Church Teaches Forum. This annual conference is sponsored by Eternal Life, an apostolate founded by Fr. John Hardon, S.J., and William J. Smith to “educate Catholics in the full teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.” Speakers at this year’s Forum include Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop James C. Timlin, Fr. Edmund F. McCaffrey, and Fr. Roger Arnsparger. The conference takes place August 13–14, 2010, in Louisville, … Continue reading

Enough to Make a Difference

Web Exclusive Kathleen Swartz McQuaig From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Sometimes even the ugly scenes of our lives can become precious when we give them to Our Lord. “Buy something, will you! I need the money.” The vendor’s anger hissed through each word. His voice hung in the air like the thick summer heat. His steely eyes cut right through us. What had we done? What had any one done—except browse through a roadside flea market? My neighbor Carol and I had simply been milling around like others when the man abruptly raised his eyes above … Continue reading

From the Editor’s Desk – July/August 2010

Sarah Rozman From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine When I first moved to town and started attending my new parish, I noticed a regular. Not a regular parishioner, but a regular nonetheless—a short, bearded, dirty man who approached parishioners outside the church before and after Mass, asking for money. His speech was hard to understand, but he said he wanted a pop, or a sandwich. When he came up to me, I was flustered, and my initial responses were more brusque than charitable. Over time, as I realized that the man was a fixture at the parish, … Continue reading


Christopher White From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Homecoming” was always a bit mysterious to me. This annual church event celebrating a particular church’s heritage is something unique to the Protestant tradition. As a young child growing up in a Pentecostal congregation in South Carolina, it was one of those events that I had come to expect but had never quite understood. Most of my attention was focused on the meal that would follow. The church musicians would prepare special songs, former pastors of the church would be acknowledged, a visiting pastor would deliver a fiery sermon, … Continue reading

Let Your Hospitality and Good Works Abound – The Catholic Contribution to Immigration Reform

Most. Rev. José H. Gomez, S.T.D. From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The immigration issue is very important to me. In fact, I believe immigration is the great civil rights test of our generation, and it is one of the critical challenges the Church faces in our hemisphere. This issue is also deeply personal for me. I come to this debate as both an American citizen and an immigrant, born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Some of my ancestors were in what’s now Texas, since 1805. (At that time it was still under Spanish rule.) I’ve always … Continue reading

Literary Witnesses: Sailing of Sinking?

David Mills From the Jul/Aug 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Man needs a message from Outside, from Someone who knows the truth, because we don’t know enough and what we do know, we don’t know very well. And we need not only a message from Outside but also someone on the inside to make sure we get the message, and get it right. ” We do not,” noted G. K. Chesterton, “really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong.” And again: “We do … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Angelus

This painting by Jean-Francois Millet (1814–75), completed in 1857, hangs in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Millet was born to a poor peasant family in Normandy. He was a founder of the Barbizon school in 1850, which emphasized naturalism and realism in painting and which was a reaction to the growing disorders and chaos which began with the revolution of 1848. Europe was entering into a period of international and intranational conflict that would last a full century. Peace would be but an occasional interlude in a general panorama of pain and death. In this painting, we see a peasant couple … Continue reading